- Beacon of Hope
This week we are proud to welcome the guild, Beacon of Hope. Through some research I came across this guild and had the privilege of corresponding with their GM, Aylyai. Beacon of Hope is an RP guild. Like most RP guilds they like to be creative with their background stories for characters, guild events and even training. Beacon of Hope does these things and in fact we will learn about their Training Corps events and how they utilize them to pass along lore, RP and also use this training to help with actual gameplay. It’s time to get to the Q&A on Beacon of Hope.
Let’s get to know Beacon of Hope & some RP tips after the Jump…
- Guild Q&A
How did Beacon of Hope get started as a guild? Is this the first game for the guild?
Beacon of Hope began on the Chilastra server of Star Wars Galaxies and was the lead Republic guild there as that game ended and we transitioned into Old Republic. We have been active here constantly since pre-launch.
The guild has been a presence in several other MMOs. Everquest 2 and Guild Wars 2 had the largest populations, but Old Republic is our main home.
What faction and server, can the guild be found?
Our first home was on Rubat Crystal, but following the server mergers, we moved to our new server home. As to date, Beacon of Hope is a Republic supporting guild on The Ebon Hawk server.
Did the Beacon of Hope start out as an RP guild? What is the main appeal of RP for the members of Beacon of Hope?
Yes, Beacon has always been part of an RP Community. Our guild spans age groups from early teens on up and we have members in several countries, so the appeal is a little different for everyone. I get the most enjoyment out of watching characters grow and change in front of you because of RP. If you let them, they will take a life of their own and you will be amazed at what that one detail you added as an afterthought turns into.
Some of the members’ thoughts –
<Sha’leaf> For me it adds depth to my character and makes me feel as if I am really part of a world that I have loved since seeing the movie for the first time in the 70’s
<Naxxy> For me it’s more of a self expression, be it the writing of background and other character related stories, or improvised role playing – also it’s a good way to experience how others see the world that I imagine around me.
<JaceFenrin> For me it provides multiple things. An outlet for frustration. An escape into a world I have some control over, expressing my inner writer, making plots, characters, events, interactions…and its fun to make believe. Also it builds relationships with others.
How did you get into RP? What are some tips or advice for those thinking of getting this type of MMO game play a try?
I personally started back in the days of Dungeons and Dragons. But I think I would trace my Online RP start to America Online and a group of rooms called the Red Dragon Inn. This was all text of course, so descriptive writing in the rooms and posting on message boards was a must. None of the MMOs managed to hold my attention for long until Galaxies launched. I was there on and off from launch in 2003 until they turned off the lights in 2011. In between was World of Warcraft, EVE Online, a couple days wasted in Second Life, and beta testing a few that never made it live because of the ESRB.
The most important things to remember:
1) Your character’s name matters on a role play server. You might think it is funny to be running around as HamSolo or Mostawesomejedi and on a PVP server that can go over just fine, but on an RP server a lot of people are going to roll their eyes and not interact with you. That also goes for characters from another series. Just because it came out of Battlestar Galactica, doesn’t make it any better. And Star Trek… well let’s just say that mixing those two rarely ends well.
2) There are a lot of people out there willing to teach if you are willing to learn. You do not have to come into the game a master writer. Get with a good group and they will help you along until suddenly you find that you are the one teaching.
3) There are jerks out there. They get their enjoyment by trying to prove that they have or know more than anyone else. And a lot of times just by being obnoxious. Do not let them make you quit. There are more good people in this community than bad. They just yell louder. Use the Ignore feature and keep going.
4) Please remember, just because you can see their name floating above the character’s head on your screen doesn’t mean your character knows it. Nor do they know that a person wearing a casual outfit is a Jedi/Sith/Trooper/Smuggler/Etc.
5) The character you are playing is supposed to be a person. Act in that manner. Introduce your character to people like you would introduce yourself… using their name of course. 🙂
6) Repeat this one three times. “This is only a game. I am here to have fun.”
7) Do not take role play personal. You could be my best friend in the real world and in the game our characters hate each other. When in doubt, see rule 6.
8) You and you alone are responsible for your character. How you behave on them will determine how others interact with you.
9) You can always ask for help. You may get some jerky responses, but you will find a lot of people willing to share their knowledge.
10) Always remember, this is a game. Your family, your school work, and real life in general come first.
While researching your guild, I came across a forum – Lightsaber Form classes. Can you help explain this? Is it a form of Jedi training to help members with their class or primarily for RP?
That is a class that is going to be put on by a member of the Training Corps. (What most guilds would call, Officers) We do our best to blend the lore, RP and combat all into one package. For example if I were to be describing Soresu Form then I would do something like:
“The wide uses of blasters made Makashi much less effective and Form III was created. Soresu focuses on defense. Mastering this form will allow you to be nearly invincible… turning your lightsaber into another layer of armor for you and those you are protecting. Your movements will be constant but much tighter than with other forms. You only have to prevent their attacks from getting past you, rely on your squad to use this to their advantage.”
We have covered Form 3’s background, given a pointer on how to write about it or RP it and told what it’s advantage as a game skill is without saying ‘It will increase your armor’.
Beside the Lightsaber Form classes, what other RP events does the guild participate in and promote?
The most common ones are our Trials. Every other week we put on an Initiate trial for promotion to padawan. This is based on guild rank, not storyline rank so you can have any mix of levels at these. Questions are posed to each of the Initiates and their responses considered. Anything from naming the Three Pillars to explaining what a line from the Jedi code means to them. Those that pass are promoted to padawans and assigned to Masters if there are free ones to continue their training.
We have not forgotten our Marines, but their weekly training has fallen prey to school requirements for their leaders and hopefully will resume shortly. When it is back they will alternate weeks so we have some sort of training or trial weekly.
Next, Datacron runs. The leaders of our Exploration Corp head these up. Usually it is one planet per run with all kinds of background information tossed in to keep the travel interesting.
Lore Item runs, usually headed by a member of the Education Corp it follows the same basic concept as the Datacron runs.
There are various classes, from the founding of Tython to Lightsaber Forms, to show and tell about the creatures on a planet. The members of the Training Corp have any number of topics at their disposal. Other members may also conduct classes, but the content of those must pass through the Council first.
Mixers/Meet and Greets. We normally have some presence at both the weekly Republic Mixer on Carrick Station and the Cross Faction RP on Nar Shaddaa.
You mentioned “our Marines,” can you briefly explain how the Marine division fits within the structure of the guild, as far as RP and OC gameplay?
When I have been asked in character about Beacon, my answer has always been the same.
‘We are the tip of the spear. We go and do the things that others cannot… or will not.’
So it seems only fitting that those non-Jedi who chose to stand with us would be called Marine. We have veterans from several services among us and I take it as a good sign that none of them have yelled at me about the choice.
In game, our Marines are made up of the Troopers and Smugglers which allow us to set up fire teams of four members covering all of the roles needed for flashpoints and combine them for larger operations. In this way they can operate much as the Republic Army did in the movies, performing their own missions without need of Jedi support. But by the same token, a Jedi can slip in and fill any needed role in a fire team from commanding it to healing them. Our original goal was to have the same four people working together all the time, but it became obvious quickly that while a hard core raiding guild which required members to show up at certain times could do that, it did not fit the more relaxed design of our guild.
How does the guild balance RP with the main storylines, Warzones, Flashpoints and Operations? Does the guild ever use these existing game play mechanics to assist in RP events/stories?
For the most part the storylines, Warzones, Flashpoints, and Ops are viewed as Out of character. Storylines can be written to take advantage of some them in a slightly different context than they were created but the most common use of in mechanics would be using an Imperial aligned outpost as the final destination of a raid. It can be a rescue, defector extraction, or a retaliatory strike. The benefit is everything fights back and if done carefully you do not interfere with anyone’s game play along the way.
Speaking of stories, is it correct that several of your members are into writing up very detailed stories for their characters, etc.? Are these stories available for non-guild members able to read?
We have many amazing writers among us. Even some who, do not believe it, even when they are told repeatedly. There are four sections you can find their writings in. Jedi Archives and Republic Records hold the basic backgrounds of the characters. Some are very in depth, some vague, but all creative. Then we have Journal Entries, this is where the bulk of storytelling goes on and where you will get a peek inside the minds of the characters. And finally, the Play by Post section offers the chance for groups that may not always be on at the same time to play through scenes at their own pace by posting a starting post and others jumping in with their responses.
As long as you have an Enjin account, you can join our site instantly and browse. Or you can register through our site to get an account. Either way, you can be reading to your heart’s content in less than five minutes. Visitors are welcome and usually not eaten.
Some RP guilds have specific rules on chat, names, classes and even light/dark side choices. Does Beacon of Hope have any of these types of rules regarding RP in the guild?
We run with some pretty basic rules regarding RP. If it is done with an emote or by using /say then it is in character. Talking in other channels like Guild, Officer, General, Etc are all OOC unless specified otherwise. We do not restrict by class or alignment and have a collection of ex-sith among us.
As for names, we are a little pickier. We will not take anyone that is using a play on a known character from this series or any others. No LukeSkywaalkkeer, James’T’Kirk, or groups of random letters.
We can appreciate subtle references and get a chuckle, but the name has to be RP worthy.
Is the guild currently recruiting? If so, what is the best way for people to contact or learn more about the guild, Beacon of Hope?
Beacon is always seeking new members. You can find us online using the /who command or by going to our website and clicking on the Recruitment tab on the bar at the top of the page. Feel free to look around the site before applying and get a feel for Hope.
As far as an RP guild, what are some elements you and the guild would like to see added to SWTOR?
A lot of us miss the personal housing from Galaxies, we would love to be able to build and decorate again. Of course with that goes the Guild Halls. There really needs to be a way for guilds to gather and not be taking up public areas and causing lag.
The guild ship that was mentioned right around launch would make a whole lot of people happy.
A revised space combat system comes in next. It would be nice to attack the heroic missions as a group and not be forced into the same preset flight path every time. Give us back free flight and joystick control!
Have the story aspects of SWTOR helped with RP or has your guild kept those separate from the guild’s RP?
Only so many people can be Leader of Havok Squad, or the hero of Makeb. The stories they have laid out are amazing, but do not possess enough flexibility to really be useful in RP. While we may mention taking on slavers on Tatooine, or fighting with the Cartel on Makeb, it is done in broad strokes and details of game play missions usually do not end up as part of the RP.
That’s all for this week’s Community Checkpoint. I want to thank all the members in the guild, Beacon of Hope for allowing me to join their website and get to learn a little more about them. I especially would like to thank Aylyai for helping with this week’s article. It is because of help and corporation like this, that I am able to share with you all guilds like Beacon of Hope. I wish for each them all the best in everything they do and May the Force be with all! For anyone of the Ebon Hawk server interested in RP on the Republic side, I would suggest to get in touch with the members from Beacon of Hope through their website or look for them in-game!
If you would like to possibly have your guild, like Beacon of Hope, highlighted on Community Checkpoint…all you need to do is submit your guild/group’s website and some basic information in an email to me at, firstname.lastname@example.org. We love to highlight members in the SWTOR community, from guilds to the many people working to plan events, contest, etc. We look forward to hearing from you! Thanks and see you next week!